The impossible is possible: the condition Belyaninov leaves customs

The former head of the Federal customs service Andrei Belyaninov

Scheduled resignation

Thursday, July 29, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev released from Andrei Belyaninov head of the Federal customs service at the request dismissed. The new head of customs appointed Vladimir Bulavin, who for three years was Plenipotentiary representative of the President in Severo-the Western Federal district.

Despite the fact that on Tuesday in the house and in the office Belianinov were searched in the case of smuggling of alcohol (for details, see help in the incision), the resignation of the head of the FCS was unexpected. Even before high-ranking government official tried to convince RBC that the documents of dismissal Belianinov there, and the press Secretary of the President Dmitry Peskov stated that the head of the FCS takes on the case of contraband as a witness, not the accused. Head of legal Department FTS Larisa Cherkesova on Wednesday categorically ruled out the resignation of the chief. “This can’t be, because there can never be” she said (quoted by “Interfax”).

The interlocutor of RBC in the Federal bodies of Executive power says that the decision to resign Belyaninov was taken at the beginning of the year, after he wrote another letter of resignation at own will. He adds that the investigation of the smuggling only coincided with the planned change of the head of customs. According to the source, with the resignation Belianinov pulled due to the fact that he sought “a high position in the line of foreign economic activity”, which is still busy. An official of the government apparatus have also heard that Belyaninov was preparing for retirement from the beginning of the year, but planned to remain in the civil service in a more relaxed position.

Belyaninov, indeed, had not planned to retire, so President Vladimir Putin was extremely dissatisfied with the actions of the Investigative Committee, in which the press got photos of the search in the house of the head of the Federal customs service, continues the interlocutor of RBC in the Federal government. “It is impossible to exclude that now inflicted reputational damage (due to a case of smuggling. — RBC) does not allow Belyaninovo to continue the civil service,” — said the source.

He Belyaninov Thursday officially declared that I would not like to leave the civil service. “I hope that my career in the civil service is not over yet,” he said at a meeting with the staff of the Central office of customs. According to Belyaninov, he is “sad to leave the office, but, on the other hand, I want to try something else”.

Case Mikhalchenko

In late March, the Investigative Committee of Russia (TFR) detained the head of holding “the Forum” Dmitry Mikhalchenko, Deputy CEO, Central Logistik Northwest Anatolia Kindzerska and Director, Southeast trading company Ilya Pichko. They are suspected of illegal import of alcohol under the guise of building materials. The damage from their activities, according to the calculations of investigators, could exceed 2 million rubles.

On Tuesday, employees SKR have spent searches in the house and the office of the head of the FCS Andrei Belyaninov, as well as in the offices of his deputies Ruslan Davydov and Andrey Strukov. Searches were carried out, and the President of the insurance company “Arsenal” Sergei Lobanov, a former adviser to the Belyaninov. Investigative activities were associated with the case of smuggling of alcohol, reported TFR. Have Belianinov house was seized about 10 million rubles., $400 thousand and €300 thousand, which he described as a family savings. Pictures of the search was published on the website of the Newspaper.<url>.

Fighter ecstasy

Belyaninov headed the customs service in may 2006 after scandals at customs due to the cases of smuggling (for example, business “Three whales”). Putin then accused the customs officers that they “merge in economic ecstasy” with representatives of business structures. Belyaninov, the President knew to work together in the KGB in the 1980s.

Belyaninov wary of the idea of creating the Customs Union between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan (the Union was launched in 2010), tells the employee of the government. According to him, the FCS saw in the Union the risk of rising smuggling to Russia and the loss of budget revenues, and also believed inappropriate transfer of their functions to the level of intergovernmental Commission. “Gradually, however, the negative Belianinov to this topic was held. That part of the plan was not realized, for example, closer cooperation of customs services of the member — wine Kazakhstan and Belarus”, — said the interlocutor of RBC.

“To custom will always claim someone has misjudged the value of the goods, someone has overpaid the fee, the third long time to execute load”, — said the employee of the government apparatus. In his opinion, Belyaninov cope with their responsibilities well, for example, when the service in 2014 moved to electronic documents with importers, exporters and other agencies.

In the last two years the custom was to work hard: excited things before lawyers and could not imagine, says RBC partner practices customs law and foreign trade, Goltsblat BLP Vladimir Chikin. Explicit tightening control of customs officers to potential violations of the customs legislation Chikin connects with the sharp drop in foreign trade volumes in the Wake of the Crimean events and, consequently, a sharp fall in customs duties in the budget. According to him, we are talking about matters related to the assessment of the customs value and customs classification.

In addition, the “gold standard” of the customs authorities was the initiation of administrative and criminal cases simultaneously with the presentation of the requirement about payment of customs payments, if we are talking about large amounts, says the lawyer.

On the other hand, in this same period, the customs became more creative, says Chikin. In particular, the customs officers began to use the agreement on mutual assistance in customs matters with other countries, order directly from the foreign colleagues to supporting documents on volumes of supplies to Russia, said the interlocutor of RBC. According to him, on the basis of these documents, the customs prosecuted the Russian importers.

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“Fill the budget”

The new head of the FCS Bulavino goes to one of the main administrators of budget revenues: FCS is the second largest collector of income (4,93 trillion in 2015) to the budget after the Federal tax service. But customs charges are falling faster than the fees of the tax. In 2015, the FCS has collected to the Federal budget by 31% less than in 2014, but, on the contrary, increased the fees by 11%. And in the first half of 2016, the revenues for the TCF decreased by 13% FNS — only 8%).

It is not surprising that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at the meeting with Bulavina Thursday asked him primarily to protect the “public interest”, particularly in regard to the “filling of the budget”.

In 2015, the government discussed the possible integration of tax and customs services, this idea, championed by first Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov. In his opinion, this would allow the FCS to “catch up” with the tax authorities, which could really improve the quality of administration of their income. United service led to the head of the FTS Mikhail Mishustin, not Belyaninov, said government sources. In the end this plan was not implemented, however, the customs service has been entrusted by the government to the Ministry of Finance.

The fact that the controlled FCS incomes are falling, is a natural consequence of the collapse of the Russian external trade and the fall in world oil prices (about 55% of the revenues of the FCS is provided by the export duties on hydrocarbons, and excluding these revenues the revenues of FTS in the first half would have increased by 22%). But FCS have always been critics who thought that customs could collect more if it is better to administer the crossing of goods across the border. So, in September 2015, the group of experts under the leadership of the then Deputy speaker of the state Duma, Nikolai Levichev has estimated that the total losses of the budget from a shortage of customs payments in 2013 alone could reach $40 billion FCS But then called it “populist exaggeration” and suggested to Refine the existing methodology of assessing the shortfall in income.

FCS claims to have repeatedly expressed the chamber. Due to the unreliable Declaration of exporters and importers the customs value of goods “in the Federal budget does not come from customs duties in full amount,” the auditors wrote in the report on the draft budget 2016. Improving the quality of customs control — the main reserve of increasing budget revenues, encouraged by the chamber. According to her, the total debt of foreign economic activity participants in customs payments, penalties and fines at the beginning of 2016 amounted to 44.5 billion rubles. in addition, the results of the audit for the 2015 audit chamber concluded that since 2009, FCS has spent $2.5 million to develop an automated information system that has not worked. In this regard, the investigating authorities brought criminal case against officials of FTS under article “Theft in especially large size by swindle”, said Chairman of the accounts chamber Tatyana Golikova in may, in the course of the report in the state Duma.

Complaints business

Businesses often complained of FCS in the state Duma, said the interlocutor of RBC in the lower house of Parliament. In particular, it was reported that customs officers divide the participants of foreign economic activity at “good” and “bad” — those who have to pay customs fees, and those whom, on the contrary, do not need to touch, says the source. In addition, there were complaints about unequal approach to the collection of customs payments: that is, firms imported the same product, and requirements on payments to them were shown the different, Duma adds the source.

According to him, MPs have encountered complaints that customs officers at the beginning of the year “designate” business amounts that you pay as customs duties, and the business in the next calendar year, through the court, returns the overpaid amount.

Finally, the Duma has received complaints that some companies are allowed under the guise of some other goods to be imported, said the source. He recalled that this case was the basis for a search Belianinov. The deputies wrote the queries based on these complaints, but almost never received substantive answers, only replies with customs officials did not recognize even the data that was taken from their own bases, says one of the interlocutors RBC in the Duma.

Recalling the recent comment of the press service of the FCS about the “impossibility” of resignation Belyaninov, the Duma confirms the source of RBC: confidence in the tenure of leadership of FCS and the rules of the game were the entire Department. The complaints received by the deputies, it was said, in particular, that in some regions key customs brokers customs officials sent out a list of gifts you wanted to get to the day of the customs officer, cites the example of the interlocutor of RBC.

Despite attempts by FCS when Belyaninova to improve customs administration, it is not too successful, given the low position of Russia in the world Bank’s Doing Business in appropriate categories. So, the speed and cost of customs procedures Russia is noticeably inferior to the Customs Union partners — Belarus and Kazakhstan. In Doing Business 2016 Russia occupies one of last places in terms of “international trade” in which the main role is played by customs procedures, — 179th out of 189. For comparison, in Belarus, 25-e a place, Kazakhstan — 122-E. customs and border control in the export of goods from Russia takes business an average of 96 hours compared with 15 hours in OECD countries, when importing to Russia — 96 to 9. Execution of documents in Russia on the import of goods the world Bank estimates at $500 with $25 in OECD countries, on export — $500 (for the OECD countries — $36).